Monday, 13 May 2013

Gagging on Glitter - The Great Gatsby

May 13, 2013

I have been waiting for The Great Gatsby to come out in theaters for what seems like years (in actuality it's only been about 6 months since I found out, but that's a very long time in over-eager-English graduate time). I bought tickets online, paid the absolutely ludicrous price for reserved seating, laughed as the Asian couple in front of me got kicked out of a series of seats before settling in to their assigned seats (in the neck breaking front row), and wore the uber flattering 3D glasses. All things that could have affected my movie experience, but nothing could ruin Gatsby. I. Loved. It. It was like falling through a glamorous rabbit hole as you're transported through the screen's ornate gold frame into the 1920s.

It got such awful reviews (only 48% on Rotten Tomatoes), but clearly these people are ignorant cunts idiots because it was fabulous in every sense of the word. This movie epitomizes #firstworldproblems and #whitepersonproblems and makes you marvel at the power of Gatsby's clean up crew.

90% of the movie was identical to the book - super impressive and unheard of in Hollywood. Very minor variations (no mention of Dan Cody for example) which didn't affect it's AWESOMENESS.
It's always bothered me a bit that Tom has an affair with Myrtle (lets be serious - the mistress is never a ginger), and I wish the movie had shown a bit more of the scandal but what you did see (Joel Edgerton with sex hair and an even more awkward than usual Tobey Maguire) was fun times. Many of the iconic lines were still used which made me happy. In particular, the verbose Jordan Baker:

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” 


The casting director needs a raise and a round of slow claps. Well done. And that's from someone who thinks Carey Mulligan is one of the most boring celebutants of all time. I was even okay with her lesbian bob because she wore shiny hair accessories to distract from it. Movie Tom was significantly less racist and crude which was not as much fun, but understandable. I don't know how many more off color (haha...puns...) jokes I can take after Django Unchained anyways. Joel Edgerton was the perfect mix of dominant, scary and sexy for the role and his perve-stache was an excellent addition. Isla Fisher might as well not have even been in the credits with her solid 6:32 minutes of screen time, but she made an excellent corpse. I would have liked to see them pad her bra a bit considering Myrtle was supposed to be bootylicious, but I have pretty high tit standards (Cs and up or it doesn't count). Tobey Maguire. Stop it. Why don't you have lips. But still a good choice for Nick Carraway (although someone like Ewan McGregor could have pulled it off and been dead sexy). Leo was a perfectly overbearing wreck of a man as Gatsby and executed yet another water death (well I might add). Somebody needs to get that man some water wings.

Un. Real. I'm sure many of Carey's dresses were uncomfortable as eff, but that's what being a woman's all about! The Gatsby mansion is a man made marvel in which I could comfortably house each pair of my shoes in their own room and still have space to harbor everyone I know. And Gatsbys closet. O Em Gee. Carrie Bradshaw's panties would be sopping at the mere sight of that closet space. The cars would have a similar effect on anyone with an ounce of testosterone (and many without). I wonder if Leo gets to take any of them if he needs any more props to solidify his lady killer status.

The soundtrack is interesting. Jay Zs contributions really add to the expensive feel. Only truly rich people can sing about other rich people. Each scene was complimented very well with each song. It's a bit off when I jam to it in my Prius, but I like to pretend I'm a balla.

Everyone needs to see this movie. Stop reading and go see it. It exceeded my expectations on every level and for a true classic to be turned into a major blockbuster and me not to hate it, is a damn miracle (*cough* Narnia, Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet *cough*). This movie will make you want to tackle your wardrobe with Michael's sequins and drink champagne with your morning cheerios. It makes alcoholism look glamorous and abusive relationships look chic. I wouldn't have had it any other way. Five spilled martinis and a drunk text out of five.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Lolita - Nymphet or Nympho?

May 7, 2013

After the brain numbing experience that was 50 Shades of Grey, I needed to partake in some actual literature before delving in to the second part of the trilogy. I chose to stick with the theme and take a stab at a book that's been on my list for years - Lolita by Vladimir Nabukov.

The differences between James and Nabukov was astounding  and almost comical. When describing the throws of passion,  James depicted the alluring act:

"“Oh Ana!" he cries out loudly as he finds his release, holding me in place as he pours himself into me. He collapses, panting hard beside me, and he pulls me on top of him and buries his face in my hair, hold me close. "Oh baby," he breathes. "

and Nabukov wrote:

"...we would sprawl all morning, in a petrified paroxysm of desire, and take advantage of every blessed quirk in space and time to touch each other: her hand, half-hidden in the sand, would creep toward me, its slender brown fingers sleepwalking nearer and nearer; then, her opalescent knee would start on a long cautious journey; sometimes a chance rampart built by younger children granted us sufficient concealment to graze each other's salty lips; these incomplete contacts drove our healthy and inexperienced young bodies to such a state of exasperation that not even the cold blue water, under which we still clawed at each other, could bring relief."

FOR REAL. What a difference! I know that comparing wanna be BDSM fiction from 2011 with classic Russian literature from 1955 is like comparing Rebecca Black with Mozart but I'm going to anyways. So you need to deal with it.

Nabukov plunges head first into Humbert's pedopheliac tendencies, but he describes them in such a lovely way that it took me a few paragraphs to be disgusted: 

"Now I wish to introduce the following idea. Between the age limits of nine and fourteen there occur maidens who, to certain bewitched travelers, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true nature which is not to designate as "nymphets." Human, but nymphic (that is, demoniac); and these chosen creatures I propose."

Now how nice is that. If I was a kid about to be hit on by an old Russian man, I would totally want to be called a nymphet. Then I could wear sparkles and wings and not be a weirdo (or a stripper).

Weirdo or stripper? You decide.

Another reason I was okay with the strongly creepy verbiage of Lolita is that it's very self aware. Humbert fully admits that he's a creepshow and is slightly ashamed, but also concedes that it is what it is. Here we are again at "whatever floats your boat". It's almost lyrical how Nabukov describes our protagonists's book covering his raging boner while watching little girls play in the park or jacking off while watching a tween girl undress in her room across the street. Ahh the fancy-free days of yore.

As Humbert and Lolita's consensual abduction relationship continues, we learn that Lolita is not the young, virtuous, care free young girl Humbert likes to think of her as. She's a gold digging attention whore that likes to play games. She feeds Humbert's severe delusions and twists him around in such a way that makes Taylor Swift look sane.

The only persnickety comments I had were very minimal:

  • During our "hero's" short marriage, he neglects his marital duties, calling his wife "stale" (which is fair I suppose when you're used to pre-pubescents), but is still infuriated when he finds out she's been cheating on him. Good riddance to stale rubbish I say! Although I must admit I found it hilarious that his idea of revenge consisted of sleeping with the lover's little sister and then shooting himself.
  • He accepts room and board at a complete dump of a house because Lolita is the land lady's daughter.  My face was creased in disgust just reading the description of the hair in the bathtub and the brown apple core in the living room - but it's tolerable for some puerile ass? No man (or child) in the world could make me live in a hoarder's closet like the one Nabukov describes. 
  • The awkward scene when he licks her eye. What, the eff.  Mmmm eye goop...?
  • Lolita's a brat. Straight up. Spoiled and frankly quite annoying. She's lucky Humbert's attracted to her. Otherwise he probably would've used the discipline side of his hand on her for snooping around in his shit never mind employing her very overactive sexuality at the ripe age of TWELVE. *coughslutcough*
  • Delores, or Lolita, reminds Humbert of his first love as a kid. This begs the question - is he really and truly a human incarnation of the pedo bear, or is he just stuck on his first girlfriend?
  • Humbert keeps a log of his interactions with Lolita (1:32pm - she just took off her bandaid. Note to self: retrieve from garbage to add to Lolita shrine) which is naturally found by his fiance/Lolita's mother/his landlady. WHY would you keep a journal like that? At least encrypt it in some sweet code or something. I feel as though if Humbert's smart enough to fake insomnia to get sleeping pills to drug his bride to be and daughter, he can do a better job of hiding his lewd chicken scratch. 
  • There's too many coincidences: 
    • His first wife is cheating on him. With who you may ask? Oh the cab driver that just randomly picked them up. Handy.
    • He doesn't want to get married to Lolita's stalker land lady of a mother. No problem, she'll get hit by a car before the wedding.
    • The play Lolita's in is called "The Enchanted Hunter". The name of the hotel Humbert first bangs Lolita in is called "Enchanted Hunters". Hmm.
Nabukov deals out some serious poetic justice when Humber finds a knocked up Lolita near the end of the book. The whole "child with child" imaginary is as macabre as the rest of the well composed novel. 

All in all, I give Lolita 5 pedo bears out of 5. It's extremely creepy, but in the most beautifully written way possible. And when it comes down to it, isn't beauty all that matters? Well, beauty and girls that are too young to run fast I've learned.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

50 Shades of Underwhelmed Indifference

May 5, 2013

My friends often get frustrated with me for ragging on their favorite books and movies. As much as I love to torment their tastes, I've always been a big supporter of "whatever floats your boat" and "to each their own". No matter how much I despise chick flicks and Harlequin romance novels, there's a reason they're still being created - so be it.

Recently, trilogies of books have been popping up, completely disparaging the term "literature". You know which ones they are. These necrophiliac themed tragedies have captured the hearts and imaginations of tweens and teens the world over (and a few select groups of sad adults). As un-enthralled as I was with the concept of bestiality and 107 year old virgins, I had to read the books before being able to make any valid argument against this series. And rest assured, I've now made my views very well known to my circle of friends (don't even get me started on the grammar error on page 619 in Eclipse). So when I found myself teasing my friends for reading 50 Shades of Grey, I had to stop myself and read the book before continuing my facetiousness. Here we go.

I have to start by saying I applaud E L James' efforts to write a new-age romance novel. It certainly has shocked the masses, which is a great feat nowadays. As innovative as 50 Shades' subject matter may be, James does choose some good 'ol standbys that drive me MENTAL. 
  • Anastasia Steele. *Sigh*. I can not express to you how tired I am of female leads that are supposedly mousy  innocent little flowers just ripe for the picking. I realize that these characters are most identifiable for the majority of the audience, but let's be serious. To land a guy as attractive, wealthy, emotional, well endowed, blah, blah, blah, as Mr. Grey, you'd need to be a 5'7 blonde smoke show with an affinity for Cirque Du Soleil style exercise. 
  • Mr. Grey seems to be the most attractive male on the face of the earth. Every women who crosses his path is speechless at his dashing good looks, and all men are charmed by his witty fishing repartee. I don't doubt that he's a stud muffin, but how can he possibly appeal to every woman's taste? 90% of my friends are big fans of the illustrious Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling, but I could take or leave them both. Neither are my style. Sure they're attractive, but my panties won't hit the ground with the velocity of a military jet at the sight of them. It all comes back to the "to each their own theory".
  • Because of Christian's whole package (no pun intended), poor chaste Anastasia agrees, despite the disconcerting legal requirements, to become his sub. The dominant and submissive culture is actually very fascinating, but from what I can tell with my light Google research, 50 Shades of Grey represents the true culture of BDSM about as much as Ducktales represents the lifestyle of a Mallard. While Christian is opening Anastasia up to new experiences, it seems as though Anastasia is closing Christian off from his preferences. Who exactly is the dom here?
  • After the first time Christian and Anastasia have sex, she acts like she's just been violated against her will. Sure, I get it that the first time can be a shock to the system, but if it was that traumatizing, why on earth would you continue with that man? When her bff, Kate, sees how upset Anastasia is, she's understandably concerned and infuriated. She plays the perfect role of the bff and immediately gets a hate on for Christian. Anastasia is inexplicably exasperated by her friend's loyalty (not to mention ragingly jealous of her looks). Grow up. 
  • This inner goddess nonsense. Hey James - want to take a paragraph or two to explain to us why Anastasia is schizophrenic?
  • Anastasia climaxes within moments. Every. Single. Time. I call bullshit.
  • Is Anastasia anorexic?  Why does she hardly ever eat unless there's a man there to force it down her pretty little throat? Maybe Christian should pull an Alicia Silverstone and start pre-chewing Anastasia food for her.

The good stuff:
The sex scenes. Not bad. James certainly does have a knack for enthralling the reader and making their pulse race! Kudos.
Much to my dismay, there were a few gory details that absolutely demolished my raising heart rate. For one, the invariably mentioned condom process. We get it, they're having safe sex. The process ruins the fluidity and eroticism of the real act, and even more so of the written act. I could have over looked this lackluster verbiage if not for one particularly disturbing scene. Stay with me on this one. 

Grey: "When did you start your period Anastasia"
KBK: "UHHHHH...That's kinda, scratch that, VERY personal"
Anastasia: "Err...yesterday" I mumble in my highly aroused state
KBK: "How is this broad still aroused. This has gone from panty soup to panty desert in 6 words"
Grey: "Good." He releases me and turns me around. "Hold on to the sink," he orders and pulls my hips back again, like he did in the playroom, so I'm bending down. He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string...what?! and...gently takes my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet.
KBK: "AHHHHHHHGHGHGHHHHHH that was SO unnecessary and SO gross. JESUS EFFING CHRIST. Mental image...I'll never sleep again"

Honestly James? Honestly? WHY. Why did you think it was sexy or necessary to invade the worst part of every woman's month and drag some poor unsuspecting guy in to it? If any guy ever wants to do THAT, it should be a big, flashing neon danger sign. Ugh. 

The vanilla sex James describes is just that. Vanilla. Her one and only BJ in the book is given an "A", but is chronicled as the most basic of BJs (common Ana - no ball play?). I refuse to believe that Mr. Grey is actually blown away (pun completely intended) by this 64 second oral display.

All in all, much to my dismay, I didn't hate 50 Shades of Grey. On a scale of Twilight to Alice in Wonderland, this lands just below a Sweet Valley High book and just above a Nicholas Sparks novel. This is not to say I would ever re-read the book, suggest it to my friends, or consider it literature, but for a mindless 2 hours, it'll do.